Photo Friday – shooting nudibranchs #1

Today’s Photo Friday comes from a local diver who was really lucky to spot this beautiful orange gasflame nudibranch.

They are not happy with the way they have photographed it and have asked for our advice on how this could have been improved.

We love the subject and there are some very simple ways to improve the overall image.

Get Close (and then get closer):

Get as close to your subject as your camera’s focus will allow you, so that you can fill as much of the screen with your nudibranch as possible.

Hint: If you have a compact camera, put it on Macro mode (the little flower symbol) (or Microscope mode for TG cameras) and your camera will allow you to get closer.

Shoot up:

In this case, the nudibranch is perched nicely on a ridge. If you lower your camera so that it is level with, or even slightly lower than the nudibranch (provided you can do this without damaging the reef) and point your camera upwards, you will just have water in the background which will make the nudibranch “pop” with colour and contrast.

Shoot from the front:

If the positioning of the nudibranch allows, take a photo directly from the front of the nudibranch so that you can see both its rhinophores. Focus on the rhinophores as this is the most important part to get in focus. As nudibranchs don’t have visible eyes, the rhinophores take the place of the eyes 😀

Hint: If you cannot shoot from the front, try to take your shot at 45 degrees from the front so that you can still see both rhinophores. 45 degree photos are also great when you want to capture the beautiful side details of nudibranchs – but try to get both rhinophores in the shot and in focus.

As always, care for the reef; ensure you dive safely, that you watch your buddy and your bottom time. No photo is worth putting yourself or our marine life in danger.

Happy Bubbles!